Pierce

The South Lafourche High School Alumni Softball Tournament has set its new date.

The popular local event has been re-scheduled for October 16-18 at the Larose Civic Center Park, the first time the event will be held in the fall.

An annual late-spring tradition down the bayou, this year's event was set for last weekend, but was postponed due to COVID-19.

Event organizer and South Lafourche softball coach Pete Melancon said the new dates were carefully planned to conflict with as few events as possible.

"We like the dates as this is a Saints bye week and LSU and Nicholls are both playing away games, plus it doesn't conflict with the French Food Festival or the COYC Fair," Melancon said. "South Lafourche football does have a game scheduled for the Friday, away at South Terrebonne, so we'll give consideration to not playing a Friday game to anyone who has a family member playing."

Melancon said event organizers pondered earlier dates, but they were concerned with the possibility of crowd restrictions still being in place, so they decided to go with the mid-October dates.

Melancon said the Class of 2020 seniors will be eligible to make teams and plans are in place to do something to honor South Lafourche High School baseball and softball players from 2020 who had "lost seasons."

Melancon stressed that the Alumni Softball Tournament is one of the single-biggest events in all of Lafourche Parish. Every year, the event gives thousands of dollars to the South Lafourche High School athletic programs to help with their operating expenses.

"It's probably the third largest annual event held in the South Lafourche area behind the French Food Festival and the Cut Off Youth Center Fair," Melancon said.

Melancon said he and Coach Grady Galliano spend time year-round planning the event and there were talks of maybe scaling down the event, limiting teams or going to a one-pitch, one-day format without fans to fight the pandemic.

But knowing how much the event means to the community, they've decided to keep the old format in place, though changes are possible, depending on the worldly conditions at the time of mid-October.

"We're committed to keeping it the great event it's become," Melancon said. "Hopefully that October date will find us wide open and able to accommodate our usual format."

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